Driver Accused of Causing Deadly I-70 Crash Sends a Message From Jail

April 30, 2019 Updated: April 30, 2019

The man police said caused a 28-vehicle crash on I-70 in Colorado sent a message to his supporters from jail.

Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23, was arrested on suspicion of four counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault on April 26, according to reports.

Investigators said that Aguilera-Mederos was driving a semi-truck and slammed into stopped traffic on I-70 on April 25. The charges stemmed from interviews and other evidence.

The driver sent a message to his family and friends through his wife, who posted it on Facebook on April 29 after visiting him at jail.

Despues de la visita de hoy donde reafirmo que no lo e podido ver personalmente solo atravez de un sistema que ellos…

Nailan Gonzalez 发布于 2019年4月29日周一

“After our visit today … he asked me to publish this under his name,” Nailan Gonzalez wrote.

“Mami, please publish this giving thanks on my behalf since I, unfortunately, cannot do it myself,” the post read. “God is with me; this is not fair what they’re doing to me, but I never thought that I’d have a whole world supporting me on the outside.”

“I never imagined there’d be so many people defending me,” the post continued. “Right now, my best attorneys have been the people who support me and those who have prayed for me. I yearn for the day that I can get out to give thanks.”

He also thanked people for their support. “There is no way of paying back everything you all have done, truly I feel very grateful; without your support, none of this would have been possible,” he said.

Gonzalez also thanked her husband’s supporters. According to her Facebook profile and Aguilera-Mederos’ profile, they live in Houston, Texas and are from Havana, Cuba.

This photo provided by the Lakewood Police Department on April 26, 2019, shows Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23. The truck driver was arrested Friday on suspicion of vehicular homicide. Police are blaming him for causing a deadly pileup on Interstate 70 near Denver on April 25, 2019. (Lakewood Police Department via AP)
Authorities survey the scene of a fiery crash on I-70 near Colorado Mills Parkway that shut down the highway in both directions o April 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Peter Banda)
Workers clear debris, including the burned out section of a semi-truck, from Interstate 70 on April 26, 2019, in Lakewood, Colo., after a deadly pileup on Thursday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Gonzalez noted that a fundraiser for her husband has raised over $7,000.

Aguilera-Mederos was due in court on Friday morning.

Officials said that the truck driver triggered the chain reaction crash when he barreled into cars that were stopped in a traffic backup. According to the Lakewood Police Department, Aguilera-Mederos barreled into the traffic jam at speeds as high as 100 miles per hour.

The defendant told police that his brakes failed and he tried passing traffic on the shoulder before swerving back into the travel lanes when he got near another semi-truck stopped on the shoulder.

His family says he’s innocent.

A video captured the truck speeding by on the shoulder before crashing into the traffic jam.

Joshua McCutchen, who runs the channel “Burger Planet” on YouTube, posted the video online. In another video, he spoke with a man who said he witnessed the crash.

“I was down here and I saw the semi truck that was out of control and it went about 80 miles an hour and I just saw an explosion,” McCutchen said.

“Yeah, as soon as he came out from under the bridge he plowed through cars. I looked over and his cab had rolled over and just come on flames,” the man responded. “I hollered at my buddy and I told him ‘Call 911’ and then I took off under the bridge and started helping people.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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